Very good book about the hurricane that put Galveston under water in the early 1900's. Larson is not a great writer (imho) but he has excellent story ideas, his research into little known factoids is very well done...this is a definite read for those who enjoy historical fiction.
For those who did not live within the path of Hurricane Katrina and whose lives continue on unscathed, that destructive storm may begin to fade into the fog of history. Isaacs Storm resurrects the story of another incredible hurricane that should not be forgotten the monstrous storm that destroyed Galveston in 1900. The book follows meteorologist Isaac Cline through the languid days before the storm, details the politicking that lead to misleading forecasts about the strength of the storm, and follows moment by terrifying moment the storms almost incredible ability to destroy buildings and to swallow thousands of lives.
One needs to be patient with this story. Much as an eerie calm along the Galveston beachfront presaged an historically powerful storm, the story begins slowly, following the career of Isaac Cline to Galveston, and building moment by slow moment into the hell that the city became as the preternaturally furious storm came ashore. Seemingly minor and insignificant details will all make sense as Erik Larson paints a gripping and graphic picture of houses imploding, families washed away, and a literal mountain of debris plowing through Galveston behind a storm surge so powerful it beggars belief.
There are moments of déjà vue here. The silence from a whole city after the storm, the utter destruction of entire neighborhoods, the morbid and massive cleanup of bodies, flotsam, and jetsam. Galveston never fully recovered; the city of Houston usurped Galvestons ascendency after the storm.
Prepare to immerse yourself in the gripping prose you experience in Larsons book, Isaacs Storm.
One of my favorite books. Part history part human drama telling about the deadliest hurricane of all time.
What a read! The hurricane of 1900 that devastated Galveston was an incredible event. That so many people were killed is appalling because much of the death was due to the failure of men to cooperate and focus on the disastrous storm that was approaching this seacoast city rather than bolstering their egos and building power bases.
I have found some of the historical reads I explore to be outstanding in many ways. Larson researches topics thoroughly and puts the reader right in the middle of what is occurring. With bodies floating by those who would rescue survivors, a dog lost because it is searching for a special person, and the bravery of a man who manages to keep his family together as they float in the waters. In addition, Larson's portrait of Isaac depicts a man with faults as well as of his own. I like that. In addition, Larson weaves attitudes of the time on and gender, combined with a bureaucracy laden with self-serving individuals.
This would have been a five star read except some of the background early in the novel became a bit tedious for me. I thought it should have been pruned. Nevertheless, I recommend this book highly because you can discover for yourself the power of wind and water from a hurricane.
This copy has a Dust Jacket and is price clipped.